The Summing It Up Blog

53% of Marketing Execs Plan to Outsource Marketing Activities

Posted by Larry Levenson

Wed, Aug 15, 2012

harvard business review

According to a Harvard Business Review article, 53% of surveyed marketing execs plan to outsource their marketing, but is it the right thing to do for you or your business?

Most companies already outsource their advertising. But what about content development and management, lead management, lead generation, and customer analytics? Increasingly, expertise in these areas is found in specialized marketing agencies, not in-house.

Marketing agencies help companies market their products and services without growing their in-house marketing staff. They often provide the same service as an in-house marketing department. . . but at half (or less!) the cost.

According to Gail McGovern, author of the above-mentioned Harvard study, "The benefits to business include cost savings and improved quality. Additionally, many firms lack 'left-brain' analytical skills in-house, even though those skills are becoming more important than ever in an age of one-to-one marketing, and find that outside expertise is often needed. Sony, a legendary marketer, outsourced its program to market products through its online 'Sony Style' store, recognizing that they needed expertise in areas such as customer database construction.

With media fragmentation, such decisions will become far more common, because companies can no longer rely on mass marketing to reach prospective customers. Communication tasks have become much more complicated, and therefore more dependent on computer-aided analysis."

To discover whether it's better to hire a full-time, in-house marketing team or to contract marketing services from an agency, follow the chart below.

Hire or Contract your Marketing Department

Determining the right marketing needs for your organization requires a balance of different considerations: size, cost, and tacit industry knowledge. This is why it is often a difficult decision for marketing execs to find the precise solution for their department. Should you hire employees and bring them in-house, or use a specialized, independent marketing agency?

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Larry is the Chief Inbound Officer and co-founder of Sigma Web Marketing, an inbound marketing agency in Arizona. You can connect with him using the following social networks: , , LinkedIn & Google+ .

Topics: small business marketing